Channel news out of the RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco included plans among some vendors to target security value-added resellers and service providers through revamped products and marketing strategies.
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Ziften Technologies Inc., for example, an endpoint discovery, protection and forensics vendor, launched a new architecture for its Zenith product at RSA Conference 2017, targeting managed security services providers (MSSPs) as one of its key customer segments.
The Austin, Texas, company has "replaced all of the back end" of its Zenith platform, rebuilding on Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Vertica database and also using the Apache Kafka high-speed message broker, said Mike Hamilton, senior vice president of product at Ziften. Kafka integrates with the Vertica big data analytics database to get data in and out of the platform.
Zenith, according to Ziften, supports the "continuous discovery" of physical and virtual connected devices, including on-network, off-network, data center and cloud devices. The platform also supports 12 months or more of "look-back forensic data storage," the company noted.
The new architecture, meanwhile, also lets MSSPs implement Zenith in multi-tenant environments. Roark Pollock, senior vice president of marketing at Ziften, said MSSPs will be able to deploy Zenith for multiple customers and manage those customers through a single console.
Security VARs, meanwhile, can package Zenith as part of an anti-malware offering and deploy it for end customers, he added.
Pollock said Ziften had some direct sales customers early on, but, going forward, aims to focus on the channel. In 2016, 85% of the company's business was through the channel.
Ziften Zenith has multiple uses including threat hunting, incident response and forensics, he said. The product's scope creates opportunities for channel partners in both the traditional IT departments and specialized security operations centers, he noted. Many end customers deploy the technology in both sectors.
"We have a lot of customers where those two groups, if isolated, will share the budget to invest in the tool and share it across both organizations," Pollock said.
Teramind expands channel program
Also at RSA Conference 2017, Teramind Inc. said it is focusing on expanding its partner program. The company said VARs, resellers and managed service providers (MSP) can add Teramind's cloud or on-premises endpoint monitoring and security platform to their offerings to "grow their bottom line and expand their reach."
NetEnrich: Most Azure customers use channel partners
Two out of three IT professionals participating in a NetEnrich survey said they are "very likely" to engage an MSP in the next 12 months to migrate to Microsoft Azure or manage their cloud or on-premises environments.
NetEnrich, a Microsoft Technology Partner for Azure, said its survey polled more than 80 IT professionals in large and midmarket companies. Chris Joseph, vice president of product management and marketing at NetEnrich, said the results reflect Microsoft's partner-heavy go-to-market strategy.
"Microsoft is big in the channel ecosystem … and they rely heavily on [partners] for sales and marketing, including Azure," Joseph said.
He said Amazon Web Services, in contrast, has traditionally taken more of a self-service approach, making it easy for people to buy directly.
The survey respondents rated security, backups, disaster recovery and protection (72%) as the top benefit of working through an MSP to manage Azure. Discovery and inventory of IT resources (63%) and assessment of cost and return on investment to develop a cloud roadmap (59%) rounded out the top three benefits of working with an MSP, according to the NetEnrich survey.
Nitel taps channel for SD-WAN offering
Nitel, a managed telecom service provider based in Chicago, plans to add SD-WAN and software-defined security services to its services roster, which includes MPLS, Ethernet and dedicated internet access.
The software-defined offerings stem from an alliance with Versa Networks, an SD-WAN vendor. Patrick Herron, vice president of product management at Nitel, said the offering will be generally available in about six weeks. He said the company is "committed to the channel model." Nitel once had a direct sales force, but "we found we were not necessarily doing anything better or different … than what is happening through the channel and decided to stop investing in [direct sales]," he said.
Herron said Nitel will sell SD-WAN and security through master telecom agents and their sub agents. The technology is geared toward small and mid-market enterprises with five to 300 locations, he said, citing healthcare (clinics, in particular), retail and hospitality as vertical market opportunities.
Bandwidth utilization is a "big driver" behind interest in SD-WAN, with cloud migration placing greater demands on networks, Herron explained.
Nitel said it is offering free on-demand and live training to help channel partners learn about SD-WAN. The company has also created an SD-WAN playbook with information on how to market SD-WAN services.
Another SD-WAN provider, Aryaka, meanwhile, said PlanetOne Communications has joined its partner program. PlanetOne is an IT and telecom industry connectivity partner. The alliance lets PlanetOne channel partners deliver Aryaka's SD-WAN offering to enterprises, replacing legacy MPLS connectivity, according to Aryaka. The deal is expected to expand Aryaka's reach into the IT and telecom partner communities, according to the company.
- Salesforce revealed updates to the Consulting Partner Program that will take effect on March 1. According to the company, the revised program will attach greater importance to cross-cloud delivery expertise, which the tiering structure will reflect by rewarding partners that become certified and develop expertise across the Salesforce portfolio. Additionally, the program will encourage partners to train up and hire more Salesforce-certified consultants. Salesforce Consulting Partners will also see resources for specializing in Salesforce products and vertical markets, including financial services, telecommunications and media, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and the public sector.
- At this week's IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, IBM revealed its partners can now offer VMware Cloud Foundation and other VMware-based cloud services. New access to the offerings is a part of IBM's initiative launched with VMware last February to increase hybrid cloud adoption. IBM said it has trained more than 4,000 IBM service professionals to assist organizations extend their VMware environments to IBM Cloud.
- Collaboration technology is top of mind for business professionals and will only become more crucial in the next couple of years. That's a key finding of a survey of 421 Harvard Business Review readers undertaken by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and sponsored by IT solutions provider Insight. More than 80% of the respondents cited collaboration technology solutions as very or extremely important for meeting business goals at present, while 90% said they expect collaboration technology to be very or extremely important over the next two years.
- ConnectWise unveiled new features for its ConnectWise Sell quote and proposal automation offering. The company said the software update provides "increased interactivity" across the company's product set. ConnectWise Sell, formerly Quosal, also includes a revised electronic ordering module.
- In the wake of its Chapter 11 filing, unified communications vendor Avaya appointed Walter Denk as its new worldwide channel leader. In his new role, Denk will oversee Avaya's partner strategy and the Avaya Edge Partner Program, looking to increase revenue growth through Avaya's more than 7,000 partners worldwide. Denk's previous positions include vice president of Avaya Germany's Small and Medium Business Group. The company also promoted Gary Levy to vice president of U.S. channels.
- Cloud company Intermedia added new backup and file management features to its SecuriSync file sync-and-share offering. The latest version of SecuriSync expands backup functionality to more folders, such as Music, Video, Pictures and Download folders, and adds policy management features. For a limited time, channel partners can receive six months of SecuriSync for free after completing their first deal.
- Wi-fi vendor Aerohive Networks named Ron Gill as its new vice president of Americas sales. Gill joins Aerohive from Ruckus Wireless, where he served as vice president of Americas enterprise sales.
- CoreDial, a cloud communications vendor, said its partner community has grown to 600 partners. In 2016, the company experienced 35% year-over-year growth in its partner community.
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